Sketching is one of the many ways humans have adapted to, to express and expand on ideas. A sketch is more like bringing an idea to a three dimensional view rather than imagining it in the head, which causes our idea to evolve over time as we forget certain elements of our ideas, and replace them with things we thought were part of the idea or ideas.
Additionally, sketching helps us change our ideas to make them more reasonable where they can become a reality, and gives us a general outline when we bring our design ideas to say, Photoshop.
Great design ideas should always be sketched out to be better formulated and somewhat finalized before brought to the digital world. This helps us develop on our design idea, which actually helps us provide a better end result or product, than that of whom did not sketch the idea.
Therefore, eliminating sketching as a process of gaining experience is not a valid point as you are eliminating a crucial process in design that can sometimes make or break a project. To better prove the point on how sketching can strengthen your design ideas, we discuss several benefits to sketching out our designs before making them a reality.
Eliminates Time Wasted
One obvious factor or benefit of sketching your design ideas is that it eliminates time you could have wasted.
You may be wondering how sketching can eliminate wasted time while you could simply start right into Photoshop or Fireworks. You have a valid point; however, even the greatest ideas need refining. Sketching enables you to plan before actually starting to design. You can solve a lot of UX and design problems by sketching ideas on paper prior to firing up your preferred design software.
What this means is, spending the time to sketch your idea on paper will actually help you visualize your idea better than you would when you imagine it.
It allows you to get a better overlook on how it will turn out, and if you do not like how the design idea is turning out on paper, or the idea may not be reachable or feasible, you have not spent the time actually bringing it to life in Photoshop, but rather just a half hour throwing it on paper.
Therefore, a not so great idea will not waste hours out of your day just to realize that it will be heading straight to your trash bin.
Helps Expand on Our Ideas
Whenever we imagine ideas, they are usually the skeleton of what the end result can be.
However, when you take an idea directly to Photoshop, you do not quite have the brainstorming you would if you brought it to paper to expand on it, and thus great ideas are often suppressed and lost, making your great idea turn into an exceptional idea or design.
However, by bringing your designs from mind directly to paper, it gives you a completely new and different level of how you visualized it, allowing you to expand on your ideas for the design often bringing it from exceptional, to a mesmerizing drool-worthy design.
Therefore, it is definitely worth the time and effort to sketch your ideas out before making them a reality.
Helps with Group Feedback
Let’s face it, when we spend hours and days and weeks bringing an idea to life in Photoshop, we are generally not open to major feedback that will attempt to overhaul all the work, effort, and time we have put into it to bring it to life already.
We would just reject credible and excellent feedback if it means we need to change a huge chunk of our design such as a structural change, or we would be forced to perform these major changes by a design firm, which causes delays in the completion of the design project.
However, when you sketch your ideas on paper or on a whiteboard, your group can provide feedback allowing you to bring changes to the sketch in seconds helping make your design an excellent piece of work in the end.
In fact, many new great ideas whether design or not are structured by brainstorming on paper first with their group before going forth and bringing some sort of prototype to life.
By bringing your design directly to Photoshop you are limiting your creativity as you are trying to follow the idea you imagined to get some sort of prototype completed before actually changing a few things around.
A sketch on paper acts like your design prototype for your idea or ideas. This allows you to quickly expand on it by using your creativity before actually bringing it into Photoshop or to the browser for a graphical preview.
This also happens to save you time from manipulating your prototype in a graphic editing program rather than on paper which tends to only take several seconds rather than several hours.
One great thing about sketching out your design ideas is that later on you can look back and see how your design has evolved, from sketch, to prototype, to the final product.
This not only is just for personal satisfactory, but it actually helps you improve on your final product months down the line.
When we design websites, we tend to design them specifically for the content we need for that website at that current point in time, however, our sketches often contain different content containers before we scratched them out.
By going back and looking at our sketches when we are looking for ideas or how our design or designs evolved, it will actually help us bring the containers we eliminated into our current design if we decided we needed such containers or elements later on.
Your Turn To Talk
I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this. What is your usual process? Do you usually start out by sketching and wireframing or do you fire up Photoshop or Fireworks right from the start? Please take a minute to chime in and leave a comment below ;)